India is the largest country in South Asia, home to a billion people. If we take the top 7 states by area, then India is the only country that has never played at the World Cup. Moreover, she participated in the Asian Cup tournaments only four times. How did it happen? India has a strange football system, but its own championship is not held in high esteem. By the way, he's not even alone.
Features of football betting in India
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Two major leagues
Surprisingly, until 1997, football clubs in India were united not by a championship but by a cup tournament—the Santosh Trophy with groups and playoffs—and besides it, there were only local championships in Indian states. In 1997, the National Football League was finally organized in India, and ten years later it was replaced by the first professional championship (the Ai-League). A regular tournament with a relegation system, dates from October to March, and the opportunity to field the best teams in the Asian Champions League and the Asian Cup (analogous to the Europa League). Now that 11 teams are playing in the Ai-League, the worst will be relegated to the second division of the Ai-League.
It would have been played like in all ordinary countries, but India went further and organized in its country, in addition to the usual championship, a separate league in order to make football the number one sport in the country. In the fall of 2013, the Super League appeared—a completely new tournament with a completely different level of funding since large corporations were interested in its creation.
Unlike the A-League, here's what happens in the Indian Super League:
- There are eight teams playing there, which were created in 2014;
- No one leaves the league;
- Matches from October to November, a two-round system, then a playoff of the best four teams;
- Draft system;
- Clubs do not participate in the Asian Champions League and Cup;
- The league is more popular and much better covered on local TV.
The popularity of other people's leagues is still higher
No matter how hard businessmen tried to bring aging stars to the country, they could not beat off interest in the European Championships and the Champions League in India.
India's World Cup team
In general, the Indians still got to the World Cup once. But how? Burma, the Philippines, and Indonesia got into the qualifying group for the 1950 World Cup with India, and all three refused to play, so the Indian national team simply qualified directly without any matches. But I didn't play in the tournament. Initially, the Indian team got into the group with Sweden, Italy, and Paraguay but ran into a refusal from FIFA, which did not want the Indians to play barefoot. Two years earlier, India had played at the 1948 Olympics with a special bandage made of rags on its legs, but FIFA was adamant: either boots or a ban. The Indians chose a ban and missed a historic chance to shine at the World Cup. They never got there again.
What can we say about the World Cup if India has only participated in the Asian Cup four times, including the current tournament? The success was in 1964, but it was impossible to take a place below the fourth since only four teams participated in the single-round system: India took second place, and Israel won in general. After that: two tournaments, two failures, six defeats in seven matches, with a total difference of 3:20.